Most of you may be familiar with VPN use while Tor is comparatively less used in your daily life. This article will resolve your confusion and introduce detailed information about Tor vs VPN. More details for this article on MiniTool Website will be revealed and you will learn some useful information from it.

What Is Tor?

Some people may feel strange about this tool, so before the part about Tor vs VPN, this part will explain what the Tor is first?

Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a platform where you are allowed to conduct anonymous communication. You can surf the Internet without leaking your private information.

Although this free software is aimed at preventing online tracking, the thing is not perfect. It does not guarantee an online footprint erasing but it can reduce the likelihood for sites to trace actions and data back to the user.

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What Is VPN?

Some people may confuse the function of Tor with VPN (Virtual Private Network) but they are different. As we said before, Tor enables anonymous communication while VPN is designed to hide your IP address and encrypt your web traffic.

To sum it up, Tor emphasizes anonymity and VPN privacy. That may be the principal difference between Tor and VPN.

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Tor vs VPN

Now, you have a general picture of Tor and VPN. Next, let’s compare Tor to VPN and see which one should you choose.

To figure out more details about Tor vs VPN, we will start with their characteristics.

They are both used for protecting online privacy with encryption but their focus is different. Tor focus on hiding who you are and VPNs hiding what you do.


VPN is faster than Tor. VPN has a simpler routing scheme. Your encrypted data goes directly to one VPN server in a controlled location and then to its destination, which makes your network speed faster.

Tor needs to travel among random three servers, spending more time.

Network Type:

The network type of the Tor is Decentralized; VPN is centralized.


Tor is free but VPN needs additional payments. Many users are not willing to pay too much for online activities, which makes Tor become people’s other choice.


Tor is completely anonymous; VPN can access web activity. They protect your privacy in different ways. As we mentioned, Tor tends to anonymity and a VPN is apt to hide what you have done on the Internet.


VPN is better compatible than Tor. You can access VPN by downloading and installing it on your phones and PCs. Tor can only be used in the Tor browser and its unstable performance may be cut down in some facilities.


They both use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). A VPN will encrypt all web traffic leaving your device while the Tor Network only encrypts the data sent through the Tor Browser.

Scope of Application:

VPNs can protect your data among all websites you have traveled to; Tor only encrypts traffic from within the Tor browser itself. You may have enough privilege to access what you want in the Tor browser but the slow internet speed may drive you crazy.

IP Address:

Tor assigns a random IP location while VPN allows you to choose a specific geographical location to bypass geographic restrictions.

Pros and Cons:



1. It can hide your IP address and identity from the websites.

2. It can anonymize your online activity.

3. It can protect your online communication from being spied on.

4. It can access censored content.


1. Customer support is not allowed.

2. It is complex to set up.

3. It may attract some unwanted attention.

4. Such a special environment is easy to give birth to illegal activities.



1. It can create a fake VPN server’s IP address. In this way, you are able to hide your location and identity to surf the Internet.

2. Your browsing content and online activities will be encrypted.

3. It is easier to use and widely compatible with other devices.

4. It provides network-wide protection.


1. Compared to free Tor, the cost of a VPN may be less cost-efficient.

2. The risk of data leak still exists.

Bottom Line:

No matter which one is your favorite, they both can be the way to protect your online privacy. They can take effect on their own stage and you can refer to this article about Tor vs VPN to choose them as you need.

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